Exodus 20:13
Of these five commandments - namely, against murder, adultery, theft, slander and covetousness, it almost goes without saying that their very negativeness in form constitutes the strongest way of stating a positive duty. From a proper consideration of these commandments all possible manifestations of brotherliness will flow. They show the spirit we should cherish towards our neighbours; those who equally with ourselves are the objects of Divine providence and mercy. They show what we are bound to give and what we have equally a right to expect. Pondering the serious and injurious actions here indicated we note -

I. THE GREAT HARM WHICH MEN CAN DO TO ONE ANOTHER, A man maliciously disposed, sensual, reckless, unscrupulously selfish, has thus the extent of his power set before him. That life which man has no power to give, he can take away at a single blow. A man in the gratification of his sensual passions is able to destroy domestic peace, gladness and purity. Property, which may be the fruit and reward of long industry, is swept away by those who will not work for themselves as long as they can get others to work for them. Reputation may be taken away by adroit and plausible slander. A man's whole position may be made uncertain by those who on the right hand and the left look enviously on that position and wish to make it their own. It is when these possibilities are borne in mind that we feel how true it is that even the best guarded of earthly store-houses is nevertheless the one where the thief can break through and steal. Industry, temperance, caution, vigilance, will guard many points of human life, but what avails, if even a single one is left that cannot be called invulnerable? If, then, our fellow men are so much in our power, how it becomes us to quell the very first outbreaks of all that is malicious, envious, selfish and sensual! ]f we allow the evil in us to grow, we know not what evil it may inflict on the innocent and happy.

II. But if these commandments show a dark and menacing side in our relations to others, they equally show a bright one. THERE IS GREAT GOOD WHICH WE CAN DO TO ONE ANOTHER. The man who has power to kill, has, on the other hand, power to do much in the way of preserving, cherishing and invigorating the lives of others. Instead of pulling down others by a degrading companionship to the level of his own impure heart, he can do something by seeking purity himself to draw others toward a like quest. Instead of stealing, he will work not only to sustain himself, but that from his superfluity, if possible, he may give to those who have not. He who has spoken ill of men will find it just as easy to speak well, if only he is so disposed. That tongue with which the renewed heart blesses God will also be constrained to say what is kind, commendatory and helpful to others. Covetousness will give place to a gracious and generous disposition that constantly takes for its motto, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." It is only when we are doing our neighbours all the good we can, that we may be really sure we are carrying out the commandments of God. There are only the two ways, the forbidden and the commanded one; and if we are not treading heartily and resolutely in the commanded one, it follows as a matter of course that we are in the forbidden one.

III. It is something to remember that THE GOOD WE CAN DO BY KEEPING THESE COMMANDMENTS IS GREATER THAN THE ILL WE CAN DO BY BREAKING THEM. God has put us largely in the power of one another, that thereby we might have the happiness coming from loving service and mutual association in giving and receiving; but, at the same time, he has made us so that while we are very powerful as co-workers with him, yet even our greatest efforts are comparatively powerless against those who put themselves under his protection. Those injuring others do indeed inflict a great injury from a certain point of view; but they terribly deceive themselves in thinking that the injury is such as can never be compensated for. Christ has given to his people the word of comfort against all assault and spoliation from evil men: - "Fear not them that kill the body." The priceless treasures, constituting the essence of every human life, are not without a storehouse because the earthly storehouse proves insufficient. The truth seems to be that man has it in his power to do more good than he can conceive, more good certainly than he ever attempts. He has not the faith to believe that incessant and plenteous sowing will bring good results, to be manifested in that day when all secrets are brought fully to light. And so on the other hand, the malicious man exaggerates his power. He thinks he has done more than he possibly can do. Good is left undone for want of faith, and evil is done through too much faith. Many an evil act would never have been committed if the doer had only known how his evil, in the wondrous reach of God's providence, would be turned to good. And so the evil-doer, the man of many crimes, if perchance the hour comes to him when he reflects in self-condemnation in the past, and says in his heart that all repentance is vain, should yet find hope and illumination as he considers how the evil done to others is an evil which God can neutralise, which he can even transmute into good. He who hurts his neigh-bout and rejoices over the mischief, may find, when it is too late, that the only real evil has been to himself, because he has persisted in an impenitent heart. - Y.







Thou shalt not kill.
I. THAT THIS COMMANDMENT WAS INTENDED, AS SOME SUPPOSE, TO FORBID THE INFLICTION OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, IS INCONCEIVABLE. The Mosaic law itself inflicted death for murder, Sabbath-breaking, and the selling of a Jew into slavery. The root of the Commandment lies in the greatness of human nature; man is invested with a supernatural and Divine glory; to maintain the greatness of man it may be sometimes necessary that the murderer, who in his malice forgets the mystery and wonderfulness of his intended victim, should be put to death.

II. DOES THE COMMANDMENT ABSOLUTELY FORBID WAR BETWEEN NATIONS? Certainly not. The nation to which it was given had a strict military organization, organized by the very authority from which the Commandment came. Moses himself prayed to God that the hosts of Israel might be victorious over their enemies. Wars of ambition, wars of revenge — these are crimes. But the moral sense of the purest and noblest of mankind has sanctioned and honoured the courage and heroism which repel by force of arms an assault on a nation's integrity, and the great principle which underlies this Commandment sanctions and honours them too.

(R. W. Dale, D. D.)

There are very sad and fearful thoughts connected with these Commandments. But there are also very blessed thoughts connected with them.

I. Is it nothing to remember that THE LORD GOD HIMSELF WATCHES OVER THE LIFE OF EVERY ONE OF US, POOR CREATURES AS WE ARE, that He has declared, and does declare, how precious it is in His eyes? Our life is subject to a thousand accidents. All things seem to conspire against it. Death seems to get the mastery over it at last. But no; He has said, "Death, I will be thy plague." As every plant and tree seems to die in winter and revive in spring, so He says to this more wonderful life in our bodies, "It shall go on, and this is the pledge and witness that it shall: the Head of you all, the Son of man, the only-begotten Son of God, died Himself and rose again. God's conflict with death is accomplished. The grave shall not kill."

II. And so, again, THE LORD IS THE GOD OVER THE HOUSEHOLD. He who says, "Thou shalt not kill," bids us understand that it is well to pour out blood as if it were water rather than to become base and foul creatures, beasts instead of His servants and children. That was the reason He sent the Israelites to drive out the Canaanites. They were corrupting and defiling the earth with their abominations. It was time that the earth should be cleared of them. The God who gave these Commandments is King now, and there is no respect of persons with Him.

III. CHRIST DIED TO TAKE AWAY THE SINS OF MEN. He died to unite men to the righteous and sinless God. The Lord our God, who has redeemed us out of the house of bondage, will always deliver us from sin, will give us a new, right, and clean heart.

(F. D. Maurice, M. A.)

I. THE SIN FORBIDDEN. In this, "thou shalt not kill," is meant the not injuring another.

1. We must not injure another in his name. We injure others in their name when we calumniate and slander them. No physician can heal the wounds of the tongue.

2. We must not injure another in his body. The life is the most precious thing; and God hath set this Commandment as a fence about it, to preserve it. All these sins which lead to murder are here forbidden: As(1) Unadvised anger. Anger boils up the blood in the veins, and oft produceth murder; "in their anger they slew a man."(2) Envy. Anger is sometimes "soon over," like fire kindled in straw, which is quickly out; but envy is a radicated thing, and will not quench its thirst without blood; "who is able to stand before envy?"(3) Hatred. How many ways is murder committed?We may be said to murder another:

1. With the hand: as Joab killed Abner and Amasa; "he smote him in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels."

2. Murder is committed with the mind. Malice is mental murder; "whoso hateth his brother is a murderer."

3. Murder is committed with the tongue, by speaking to the prejudice of another, and causing him to be put to death.

4. Murder is committed with the pen. Uriah.

5. By consenting to another's death. Saul.

6. By not hindering the death of another when in our power. Pilate.

7. By unmercifulness.

8. By taking away that which is necessary for the sustentation of life.

9. By not helping him when he is ready to perish. We must not injure another's soul. Who do this?

(1)Such as corrupt others by bad example.

(2)Such as entice others to sin.

(3)Ministers are murderers, who starve, poison, or infect souls.

(4)Such as destroy others, by getting them into bad company, and so making them proselytes to the devil.The second thing forbidden in it is, the injuring one-self; "thou shalt not kill": thou shalt do no hurt to thyself.

1. Thou shalt not hurt thy own body. One may be guilty of self-murder, either(1) Indirectly and occasionally; as, first, when a man thrusts himself into danger which he might prevent. Secondly, a person may be in some sense guilty of his own death, by neglecting the use of means. If sick, and use no physic, if he hath received a wound and will not apply balsam, he hastens his own death. Thirdly, by immoderate grief: "the sorrow of the world worketh death"; when God takes away a dear relation, and one is swallowed up with sorrow. How many weep themselves into their graves! Queen Mary grieved so excessively for the loss of Calais, that it broke her heart. Fourthly, by intemperance, excess in diet. Surfeiting shortens life; "more die of it than by the sword"; many dig their grave with their teeth; too much oil chokes the lamp; the cup kills more than the cannon.(2) One may be guilty of self- murder, directly and absolutely. First, by envy. Envy corrodes the heart, dries up the blood, rots the bones; "envy is the rottenness of the bones." It is to the body, as the moth to the cloth, it eats it, and makes its beauty consume; envy drinks its own venom. Second, by laying violent hands on himself, and thus he is felo de se; as Saul fell upon his own sword and killed himself. A man's self is most near to him, therefore this sin of self-murder breaks both the law of God, and the bonds of nature. Self-murderers are worse than the brute-creatures; they will tear and gore one another, but no beast will go to destroy itself. Self-murder is occasioned usually from discontent; discontent is joined with a sullen melancholy. The bird that beats herself in the cage, and is ready to kill herself, is the true emblem of a discontented spirit.

2. Here is forbidden hurting one's own soul.Who are they that go about desperately to murder their own souls?

1. Such wilfully go about to murder their souls, who have no sense of God, or the other world; they are "past feeling."

2. Such as are set wilfully to murder their own souls, are they who are resolved upon their lusts, let what will come of it. Men will, for a drop of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath.

3. They murder their souls, who avoid all means of saving their souls.

4. They do voluntarily murder their souls, who suck in false prejudices against religion; as if religion were so strict and severe, that they who espouse holiness, must live a melancholy life, like hermits and anchorites, and drown all their joy in tears. This is a slander which the devil hath cast upon religion: for there is no true joy but in believing.

5. They are wilfully set to murder their own souls, who will neither be good themselves, nor suffer others to be so.

II. THE DUTY IMPLIED. That we should do all the good we can to ourselves and others.

1. In reference to others.(1) To preserve the life of others. Comfort them in their sorrows, relieve them in their wants, be as the good Samaritan, pour wine and oil into their wounds. Grace makes the heart tender, it causeth sympathy and charity; as it melts the heart, in contrition towards God, so in compassion towards others.(2) Love. Love loves mercy: it is a noble bountiful grace. Love, like a full vessel, will have vent; it vents itself in acts of liberality. To communicate to the necessities of others, is not arbitrary, it is not left to our choice whether we will or no, but it is a duty incumbent; "charge them that are rich in this world that they do good, that they be rich in good works." God supplies our wants, and shall not we supply the wants of others? Shall we be only as a sponge to suck in mercy, and not as breasts to milk it out to others?(3) It is implied, that we should endeavour to preserve the souls of others; counsel them about their souls, set life and death before them, help them to heaven.

2. In reference to ourselves.The Commandment, "thou shalt not kill," requires that we should preserve our own life and soul.

1. It is engraven upon every creature, that we should preserve our own natural life.

2. This Commandment requires, that we should endeavour, as to preserve our own life, so especially, to preserve our own souls.

( T. Watson.)

This command forbids the illegal and unrighteous taking of life. What a terrible commentary upon the condition of man that there needs to be such a command as this, "Thou shalt not kill"! Sin is its only explanation. Consider —

I. THE MURDERER.

1. This crime comes as the sequence to a life of terrible guilt.

2. It subjects him to the extreme penalty of the law, and holds him up as a monster unfit for human fellowship and life.

3. It does violence to the highest interests of his soul.

II. THE MURDERED MAN.

1. Murder cuts him off in the midst of his days.

2. It destroys all his earthly interests, and does him the greatest injustice. No time given to set business in order or provide for household.

3. It endangers his eternal welfare.

III. SOCIETY.

1. Murder outrages the rights of life and property.

(1)It brings disgrace to the relations of the murderer.

(2)It injures the connections of the murdered one.

(3)It disturbs the peace of society, and even threatens the stability of good government.

2. Hence to defend life becomes a duty (Psalm 82:3, 4; Job 29:13).

(1)We are not at liberty to take our own life (Acts 16:28).

(2)When a man is attacked be should defend himself; or, if others need help, he should assist them (Proverbs 24:11, 12).

(3)The welfare of society demands that the life of the murderer should be exacted by the government, or that he should be kept in perpetual durance (Genesis 9:6).

IV. APPLICATIONS.

1. We should keep the heart free from hatred and the like.

2. We should cultivate a sweet disposition and control over temper and passion. The passionate man may commit murder in the frenzy of his excitement.

3. We should avoid everything that tends toward this crime, such as quarrels, differences, strong drink, and all other things whose tendency is to evolve passion and destroy self.control.

(L. O. Thompson.)

Man alone has the inspiration of Deity. This Divine inbreathing is the august peculiarity which separates man discretively and everlastingly from the animal creation. On his body side he sprang from dust; on his soul side he sprang with the animals; on his spirit side he sprang from God. Thus in his very beginning, in the original make-up of him, man was a religious being. Coming into existence as Jehovah's inbreathing, man was, in the very fact of being Divinely inbreathed, God's Son and Image. Hence it is that the human body is such a sacred thing. It is the shrine of God's Son, God's image, God's likeness, God's spirit, God's breath. As such it is the priceless casket of unknown sacred potentialities. Hence, murder is, in the intensest sense of the word, sacrilege: not only a crime against man, but a crime against God, in whose image man is made. But murder may be of varying degrees of atrocity. Accordingly, let us now glance at some of the various forms of murder.

1. And, first, there is the murder which is born of malice, or murder in the common acceptation of the term. Murder of this kind, whether perpetrated swiftly, as by the bullet, or slowly, as by arsenic, is the most fiendish of crimes. And nature, in an especial manner, ever waits to avenge it. Nor is this strange; for, as we have seen, man, on his body side, is linked with the material creation. The same elements which compose our physical organism compose, although in different proportions, the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the dust we await. Hence nature herself often becomes a principal factor in the detection of the murderer. She ever stands ready to be murder's avenger, supplying the prosecuting attorney with her re-agents, even with blood-corpuscles themselves.

2. Again, there is the murder which is born of sudden passion: the murder, for example, of lynch-law, when a mob usurps the functions of a court of justice; the murder of sudden vengeance, as when an outraged husband encounters and slays the destroyer of his home; the murder of manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary, whether provoked by insult, by menace, or by alcohol.

3. Again, there is the murder which is born of despair. Suicide, when committed by a sane person, is murder. Indeed, how often the two crimes are committed by the same person — the murderer first slaying his victim, then slaying himself. Justly does the law pronounce a suicide a felo de se — that is, one who makes a felon of himself, suicide being felonious self-murder.

4. Again, there is the murder which is born of shame: I mean infanticide.

5. Again, there if the murder which is born of harmful occupations. First in this list I would put the dram shop; it matters not that the killing is slow; the killing is moral murder; and before every saloon I would post a placard.bearing the Sinaitic legend: "Thou shalt not kill." Again, there is the sale, when not prescribed by the physician, of narcotic drugs, in their various forms, from opium joints to chloral drops. Again, there are the slow murders which are perpetrated in houses of nameless sin — murders which are particularly sacrilegious, because, as we have seen, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

6. Again, there is the murder which is born of thoughtlessness (see Deuteronomy 22:8). It is one of the cheering signs of the times that the public is awakening to the sense of its grave responsibility in this direction, for example, demanding that life shall not be imperiled by the failure to provide substantial structures, fire-escapes, life-preservers, railway precautions, sanitary arrangements of fresh air and wholesome food and pure water and clean streets, isolated refuges for sufferers from contagious and infectious diseases, competent physicians and druggists and nurses, sufficient hours for rest on the part of operatives, excursions for children, sanitariums for the poor, parks and recreation grounds — in brief, hygienic regulations in general.

7. And now let us ponder Christ's interpretation of the law against murder (Matthew 5:21, 22). According to Him, murder is not a matter of outward act, but of inward feeling: not a question of standing before the community, but of character before the All-seeing. No murder was ever committed which did not begin in the heart. Who of us has kept the Sixth Commandment as the Divine Man has interpreted it? Who of us has not been angry, passionate, revengeful, petulant? Remembering, then, these quarrels of ours, these grudges and piques and faults of temper, who of us is not in danger of the eternal Gehenna? But we are not yet through with the Sixth Commandment. Although it is prohibitive in form, saying, Thou shalt not kill, yet it is affirmative in spirit, saying, Thou shalt love.

(G. D. Boardman.)

I. THE ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLE OF THIS COMMANDMENT.

1. In preferring the old Prayer Book reading, "Thou shalt do no murder," the revisers have done well. Killing may be no murder. The right of self-defence belongs both to the individual and the community.

2. Human life is sacred, but not so sacred as the end for which it is given, viz., that man created in the image of God should do His will. That is the paramount obligation. The will of God may make it right for us to lay down our lives, or right to defend them at the cost of death to others.

II. THE MOSAIC ENUNCIATION OF THIS COMMANDMENT.

1. It is inconceivable that the great law-giver can have read it in the sense of an absolute "Thou shalt not kill."(1) If he had condemned killing in self-defence, he could not have formed the regulation in Exodus 22:2.(2) If he had condemned killing by public justice, he would not have ordained capital punishment, as he did not only for murder, but also for kidnapping, insolence to parents, adultery, sorcery, blasphemy, and Sabbath-breaking.(3) If he had condemned killing in war, he would neither have engaged in it himself nor have left it as a solemn legacy to his successor.(4) Against actual murder the law of Moses was uncompromising (see Deuteronomy 19:11-13; Exodus 21:14.)

2. In this stern impartiality the Hebrew legislator rose head and shoulders, not only above his contemporaries, but above generations very far subsequent to him. Even in Christian England, and in our own day, we tolerate in connection with many offences, an alternative of "fine or imprisonment?; a bad remainder of feudal times, which lets the rich man lightly off, but crushes his poorer neighbour — an inequality with which Moses could not be charged. But he went further than this. He laid down the principle that criminal carelessness and selfish indifference to human life ought to be regarded as tantamount to murder (see Exodus 21:28, 29). If our own British laws were as clear as this in their denunciation of criminal carelessness and wicked recklessness of human life, it would be vastly to the public advantage. What of the jerry-builders heaping rotting garbage into the foundations of houses, putting cheap arsenicated papers on the walls, and scamping drains that they may net exorbitant rents at the price of human lives? What of smug railway-directors sweeping in golden dividends, but leaving poor signalmen to toil for such long hours that exhausted nature muddles the points, and horrible collisions follow? What of the chemist who adulterates his drugs, the inn-keeper who puts damp sheets on the traveller's bed, and the butcher who sends diseased meat into market? The plain truth is, that these people are murderers. We are yet as to legislation a long way behind the brave old ruler who said out forcibly what such criminals should suffer; but our moral sense sees clearly that they inflict death upon innocent people, a death as sure as if they had put knife to the throats or revolver to the hearts of their victims, a death often slower and more cruel in its torture.

III. THE SAVIOUR'S COMMENT UPON THIS WORD (see Matthew 5:21, 22). Nothing condemned by Moses as a breach of the sixth word is excused by Jesus. Instead of loosing, He tightens the reins. He tracks the lurking murder in many an unsuspected heart. He marks three degrees of murderous guilt, all of which may be manifested without a blow being struck: secret anger; spiteful jeer; open, unrestrained outburst of violent, abusive speech.

IV. THE POSITIVE INTERPRETATION OF THIS COMMANDMENT will lift us to the true platform of Christian morality by transfiguring it into a law of mercy. The same essential principle which forbids murder ordains brotherhood.

(W. J. Woods B. A.)

We now come to the commandments which refer exclusively to our duty to man. Of these there are five. The first four we group together. They each read: "Thou shalt not injure thy fellow-man." We cannot injure God — we can only act irreverently and carelessly toward God, and so injure, not Him, but ourselves. Sin has made us natural enemies to one another — Ishmaelites, whose hands are against every man, and every man's hand against us. Man's condition by nature is not seen in man's condition in England, France, or civilized America, but in man's condition in the savage island of the Pacific, where the heavenly rays of the gospel have least penetrated. The civilizations of Christianity exhibit, not humanity, but Christianity. The civilizations of ancient Persia, Greece, and Rome (although a little revelation filtered through upon them) exhibit humanity, in its best estate, as a refined selfishness, where every man seeks (adroitly, perhaps, and not openly) to injure his neighbour. The injury which man can do to his fellowman can be divided into four kinds — injury to person, injury to society, injury to property, and injury to reputation.

(H. Crosby, D. D.)

The Commandment is addressed to each man, and applies to his own life and the life of his neighbour.

1. His own life he is forbidden to take. He is commanded to care for it. Man does not own himself, has no title in his own life as before God, has no right to destroy it, but should take good care of it, for it belongs to God. We are here forbidden to brood over our troubles. It is wrong to cultivate a melancholy spirit, or a rebellious one. We should strive against these natural tendencies which threaten life and dishonour God. God requires us further to have that high regard for our lives which shall lead us to guard and maintain them in the best possible condition. We are to become familiar with the laws of health, and obedient to them. The Commandment tells us how we shall dress. Adornment should be subordinate to comfort. Thin shoes and bare arms venture out to a late party on a winter's night; a severe cold sometimes follows, and a speedy death. We say, What a mysterious providence to take one so young! Do we not know that the laws of providence are in favour of good health and long life, and that sickness and death often come directly from our disobedience of these laws. This Commandment directs us in the conduct of our business. In gaining our living we are not needlessly to risk our lives. We are to be masters of our business, not mastered by it.

2. God requires further that each one shall hold the life of others sacred as well as his own. He is forbidden to take it. He is commanded to care for it. The contentious spirit is to be checked in its small beginnings, for its natural tendency is to hard feelings and deadly hatred. Our pride is not to be cultivated, for an over-estimate of our own importance is sure to be cut to the quick by the slights of others, and arousing into anger will cherish the desire for revenge. High temper quickly flies into anger when provoked, and often acts and speaks in the heat of passion, adding fuel to its own flame and striking fire into other hearts. It is said that Julius Caesar won many victories over his own spirit by the simple rule never to speak or act when provoked until he had repeated slowly the Roman alphabet. We are to beware of having any prejudice against our neighbour. We are to think of him kindly, and speak of him and to him kindly, no matter what he thinks of us, or how he speaks of us or to us, or even if he will not speak to us at all. All private grudges and neighbourhood feuds, if they stand at all, must stand under the frowning face of this Commandment. Neither can cool indifference to our neighbour's welfare find any place in our hearts under this law of God. In the social arrangements of the day lives are often placed in the charge of others. Those having this charge should pay special attention to this Commandment. The owner of a tenement house, if he regards this Commandment at all, will seek the health, comfort, and welfare of his tenants. Builders of roads, bridges, and houses, if they regard this Commandment at all, will seek not only good wages, but mainly to do good work, that men's lives may be safe. This Commandment directs us to be good citizens and to seek the health and welfare of all the members of the community where we dwell. The sanitary arrangements of city, town, and village, are commended to our attention. We may not neglect them without guilt. The sacredness of life enjoined in the Commandment covers not merely the bodily life, it lies specially in our spiritual life, in the image of God. Is life worth living? asks the worldly philosopher, as if there was some doubt about it. Worth living? Surely it is, since our spiritual life though fallen may be brought into a shape worthy of God our Father. Herein we see the highest realm of this Commandment, the true sacredness of life. We are carefully to avoid in ourselves and in our influence all those things which would have any tendency to destroy the soul.

(F. S. Schenck.)

I remember when I was a boy at school a case of this kind occurred. One of the scholars, whose name was James, had a terrible temper. The least thing that displeased him would throw him into a rage, and then he would act in the most violent manner. He never seemed to feel how dreadfully wicked it was, or to be afraid of the consequences that might follow from it. One day, during recess, he stretched himself on a bench to take a nap. One of the boys thought be would have a little fun with James. He look a feather, and leaned over the bench, and began to tickle him in the ear. James shook his head, and cried "Quit that." Presently he felt the feather again. "You quit that, I say!" he exclaimed, very angrily. The boy very thoughtlessly went on with his mischief. Then James sprang from the bench, seized a pair of compasses lying on the desk near him, and threw them at the boy with all his might. They struck him on the side of the head. They entered his brain. He fell down, never spoke again, and was carried home a corpse. How dreadful this was! Here was the young serpent that had been allowed to nestle in this boy's heart springing up suddenly to its full growth, and making a murderer of him. Oh, watch against these young serpents!

(R. Newton, D. D.)

Colonel Gardiner, having received a challenge to fight a duel, made the following truly noble and Christian reply: I fear sinning, though you know, sir, I do not fear fighting"; thus showing his conviction of a fact too often forgotten, that the most impressive manifestation of courage is to "obey God rather than man.

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